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Rotary to deliver dictionaries, clothing to needy

By Staff | Oct 24, 2009

The Rotary Club of Cape Coral will deliver 250 dictionaries, along with 1,100 pounds of clothing, to third-grade students on the north Andros Island in the Bahamas.
Rotary Club member David Nielsen said the club got the idea of donating items to Andros Island after a few of its members visited the north side of it and saw a need to offer assistance.
He said the club decided to help those on the island because that is part of what they do, they spread “good works through charity.”
“We spread good works of Rotary wherever we can,” Nielsen said. “We are a worldwide organization of business people who organize their efforts for people who need their help.”
The club first donated a playground for the children at the primary school in Red Bays in May 2008, along with school supplies.
Nielsen said Playtime Inc. supplied the playground to the club “at a substantial discount.”
He said almost all of the Rotary Club members made a trip to Andros Island to install the playground. Nielsen added that some of the individuals enlisted at the AUTEC base also helped with installing the playground.
Nielsen said the Navy has allowed the Rotary Club to travel to and from the base out of West Palm to deliver the materials to the island.
“The Navy has been very generous in supplying us with housing accommodations,” he said. “They have been instrumental in helping us get some of the projects done.”
Nielsen said this is the second year the club has donated dictionaries to Andros Island. The 250 dictionaries, which will be delivered to third-graders, are part of the dictionary project with the Rotary District of Southwest Florida.
The dictionary project began in 1992 and became a 501(c)3 nonprofit association in 1995. Since then, the project has provided more than 9.8 million children with dictionaries.
He said the members of the club discovered that there was a need for clothing on the island through the Navy base last spring. The club then decided to hold a clothing drive for the children.
The Rotary Club asked members and the community to go through their drawers and closets and donate clothing they no longer needed or wore. He said the Kiwanis Club also donated a great deal of clothing to help the cause.
The Rotary Club was able to collect 1,100 pounds of clothing in a little less that two months. Neilsen said they received a very heartwarming response from individuals after they announced that they were holding a clothing drive.
The club collected all the donated clothing, dictionaries, notebooks and binders last week, so they could ship it all off to the island.
A group of 10 Rotary Club members will travel to Andros Island Nov. 19 to personally deliver the donated goods to seven or eight primary schools.
Neilsen said the donated goods are already loaded on the barge and will be stored at the Navy base until the members arrive in November.